Peroxynitrite rapidly permeates phospholipid membranes

Sudhakar S. Marla, Jinbo Lee, John Taylor Groves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Scopus citations


Peroxynitrite (ONOO-) is a potent oxidant implicated in a number of pathophysiological processes. The activity of ONOO- is related to its accessibility to biological targets before its spontaneous decomposition (t( 1/4 ) ≃ 1 s at pH 7.4, 37°C). Using model phospholipid vesicular systems and manganese porphyrins as reporter molecules, we demonstrated that ONOO- freely crosses phospholipid membranes. The calculated permeability coefficient for ONOO- is ≃ 8.0 x 10-4 cm · s-1, which compares well with that of water and is ≃400 times greater than that of superoxide. We suggest that ONOO- is a significant biological effector molecule not only because of its reactivity but also because of its high diffusibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14243-14248
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 23 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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